Going back to Katoomba 60 years ago–Charlie Chaplin’s “Limelight”

In 1952 after my sister died Dad took mum and I to Katoomba where we all stayed at a guest house which, at the time, served nothing but minced steak in various guises – or so I announced very loudly at one meal time much to everyone’s amusement: “We’ve had minced steak in every conceivable form…!” I was nine years old at the time.

I am sure this is the guest house. No doubt the menu has improved.








Among other things I recall about that holiday is going to the movies in Katoomba and seeing Limelight. Last night I saw it again, thanks to one of the $2 DVDs I bought at the weekend. Yes, people say it is over-sentimental. This critic adds “verbose” – but I was actually rather taken with how witty and wise some of the dialogue was.  Loved it, even if I wondered how much I had taken in at the age of nine. I do remember loving the music and being intrigued by the ballet sequences – something I had never seen before.

The other thing is I don’t recall who I went with. It’s even possible I was by myself – in fact I think I may have been. Going to the movies at age nine without adults was far from unusual in the early 1950s.


Art by Susan Kistler USA – linked

In Australia we were allowed to see Limelight. In the USA despite its being one of the New York Times top ten in 1952 it was pulled from exhibition. Chaplin was persona non grata for a considerable time.

I came back to the present just as Q&A reached this question:

HARLEY SIMONSEN asked: The government is spending billions on refugees but at what cost to our elderly, sick, unemployed, pensioners, schools, hospitals, and infrastructure? Why don’t we just stop the boats? Charity has to start at home.

I turned off in disgust.


One thought on “Going back to Katoomba 60 years ago–Charlie Chaplin’s “Limelight”

  1. What memories you bring for me too about Charlie Chaplin. They don’t make films or men like that any more.

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